Trip Report Heinz's Europe spring tour 2011

Heinz

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is about to start...

Currently sitting in KL airport - 29C outside and feels not much less in here.

ok flight on Malaysian - watched a Hindi film and listened to the Arabic hits music channel.

Another 3 hours to the Amsterdam leg.
 

smitty484

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I first read that as -29C in KL. I was like, wtf.
laugh.gif
have fun, looking forward to the updates.
 
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Heinz

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I'm glad a had a 4.5 hr stopover in Amsterdam for my Vienna flight. Flight was delayed 1.5 hrs out of KL with some 'technical' issues, missed getting the Afghanistran route, so had a slightly longer one over Iran, Iraq, Black sea. Then queues for passport / customs control at Schipol were horrendous - took close to 1.5 hrs. Been far too spoilt by Narita, Kansai, Incheon, Singapore etc (not Delhi though). Paris CDG was pretty bad 4 years ago as well, but I never remember Frankfurt previous to that being anywhere near this bad. That was pre Schengen though.

Anyway now hav a comfortable stress free wait for my Vienna flight, then jump on a bus and then a train to Graz where relatives will be waiting.

Looks sunny but cool outside.

Pics will hopefully come - just trying to get used to this netbook thing.
 

Heinz

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smitty484 said:
I first read that as -29C in KL. I was like, wtf.
laugh.gif
have fun, looking forward to the updates.

laugh.gif
That would be something! The dawn of the next age? Definately +29
 
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Heinz

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Snow Blowey said:
what is the plan?

Initial plan is to catch up with relatives in Graz for the first week then probably head to Schladming for a bit.
 
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Heinz

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Interesting you should ask. I took my Mantras however I am now in Vienna but my skis arent.
mad.gif


I was fearing the worst when I was watching them load the bags in Amsterdam but didn't see any skis.

I wasn't planning on skiing till later in the week anyway, so hopefully they deliver them in the next couple of days.

Cloudy here in Vienna.
 
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Stani

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no powder in Schladming, yesterday was +20 C degrees in the valley (around 800 m).
the Dachstein glacier should be nice, however the terrain up there isn't so interesting, but the freeride route down to Ramsau is good. But this route is a south faced slope, so spring-like conditions.

(it has snowed today, but not more than 5 cms)

Past weekend and this week till Friday was OKAy, at least above 2000 m.

Unfortunatelly there is no powder reported in the following week.
 

sara777

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Heinz said:
I'm glad a had a 4.5 hr stopover in Amsterdam for my Vienna flight. Flight was delayed 1.5 hrs out of KL with some 'technical' issues, missed getting the Afghanistran route, so had a slightly longer one over Iran, Iraq, Black sea. Then queues for passport / customs control at Schipol were horrendous - took close to 1.5 hrs. Been far too spoilt by Narita, Kansai, Incheon, Singapore etc (not Delhi though). Paris CDG was pretty bad 4 years ago as well, but I never remember Frankfurt previous to that being anywhere near this bad. That was pre Schengen though.

My experiences with Frankfurt are horrendous as well - and it was just as bad for me even before Schengen. Since then I am trying to avoid Frankfurt everytime if I can, except last year over Xmas - and they didn't disappoint again -2 hours at the custom and all flights delayed / cancelled.. I hope your skis arrive soon, that's the main thing!
thumbsup.gif
 
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Heinz

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Skis were delivered to the apartment Monday morning - no dramas.
thumbsup.gif

Actually got sent to Graz on Sunday night so were only mislaid in Amsterdam.

It is a sunnry warm 9C this morning in Graz - rather too warm.

Yes, Schladming will definately be spring skiing.

Have been catching up with many relatives and a few new ones which has been enjoyable.
 
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Heinz

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Jungle walk in the middle of KL airport
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Views from my aunts apartment from Monday when it was still cloudy.
Schlossberg
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Uhrturm
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Stadtpark
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damian

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Heinz said:
Interesting you should ask.

Well. I'm a skier. You're a skier. You are going skiing. What else would I ask?
smile.gif


Mantra seem like a great EU choice. Glad they turned up, hope they get some crystals soon.
 
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sara777

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Oh, great photos! Makes me homesick ( was born and grown up in Europe ). Great time to be there, catching two seasons - the coming ( rather still creeping ) spring and slowly leaving winter with plenty of snow to still enjoy and no crowds
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Heinz

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Just arrived in Schladming - cloudy with a slight drizzle. It has grown a bit since my last vist around 20 years ago.
 

Heinz

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Frühlingswetter oder Sommerschi? Sicher kein Pulver aber noch viel Spass. Oh hang on..

Spring or summer skiing. Certainly no powder but still plenty of fun.

Skied Planai and Hauser Kaibling. First day skiing since August. Good in the morning but still 7C on the upper mountain, 13C midstation. In the afternoon it was 18C at midstation and slushed up pretty badly. The sweat was pouring out after the end of day Talabfahrt. The first beer hardly touched the sides.
Skiing in spring is quite different – relaxed, sunshine, birds chirping, the smell of country air.

Skiing in Austria is great regardless of the weather is extremely civilised. Gondolas, 8 seater padded chairs, lots of little and some quite large huts dotted around the mountain with outdoor seating, table service, good food. Then at the end of the ski day (or earlier) plenty of places to park your skis, grab a seat and get served a beer. And always seems to be a good atmosphere, though a little quitter at this time of year.
 
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Heinz

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Schladming
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view from my room
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Planai
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at lunch
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Last part of the valley run Hauser Kaibling
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Heinz

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Yes, I would say it is lighter than normal, though I can't compare properly myself.
 

Heinz

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Another warm day. Start on Planai, then head over to Hochwurzen. Good till about midday then softening quickly. Was quite amusing heading back down through Rohrmoos on a narrow trail surrounded by green. Skiing past houses and hotels with people sitting outside sunbathing. Another few runs up top on Planai, then a late lazy lunch in the sun, following by a lazy and very hot ski back down to town. Then après ski at the Tenne with Marc Picher.
 

Heinz

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Rather odd gondolas at Hochwurzen, operating more like a cable car.
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Runs at Hochwurzen looking up from Rohrmoos
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The trail down through Rohrmoos
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mmm, Kaiserschmarrn auf d' Alm.
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Cham

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Heinz...what brings you here so late in the season? Got some alpine touring planned?
 

Heinz

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It is what I have done the last couple of times on Europe trips. Combine a bit of spring skiing in April with some general travel and catching up with relatives in (usually) good weather in May. Has worked out well previously. Yes, a bit of touring planned. Stayed tuned.
 

Heinz

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Bit of a change in weather today. Started off still warm partly cloudy morning around 13C. Good skiing with hardly anyone around. Planai to start with then over to Hauser Kaibling. The talabfahrt was still very good over there – presumably less traffic. Cloud gradually increased and temps dropped to around a still warm 3C up top. Was just starting to head back to Planai when the rain started. As it got steadier I decided to head back to town rather than have lunch on the hill. Got back about an hour later. The shell jacket was a good call this morning. Last I saw on Planai TV a while ago it was just under 0C top of Planai. Tomorrow looks similar.
 

Stani

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Heinz, cause on wednesday the weather will be fine, you should visit the nearby Dachstein glacier for some powder turns. and the view from there is really amazing, especially on clear days!!

@snow

unfortunatelly the season 10/11 here in Austria wasn't the best, it was sunny, dry and a little bit to warm.
We had 2 big dumps; around mid Dec, than during the last week of January.
from late January till late February we had 4 weeks of endless sunshine, which is very unusual at this time of the year.
But not only in Austria, in the whole Europa (Alps, Pyrnees) was the same. Except the southermonst ski resort of Europe, called Sierra Nevada, they had (and have) the most snow, at the top of the mountain around 6 meters of the white stuff !!!
Crazy world...

It was the season of the glaciers and other higher resorts....
 

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sara777 said:
Heinz said:
I'm glad a had a 4.5 hr stopover in Amsterdam for my Vienna flight. Flight was delayed 1.5 hrs out of KL with some 'technical' issues, missed getting the Afghanistran route, so had a slightly longer one over Iran, Iraq, Black sea. Then queues for passport / customs control at Schipol were horrendous - took close to 1.5 hrs. Been far too spoilt by Narita, Kansai, Incheon, Singapore etc (not Delhi though). Paris CDG was pretty bad 4 years ago as well, but I never remember Frankfurt previous to that being anywhere near this bad. That was pre Schengen though.

My experiences with Frankfurt are horrendous as well - and it was just as bad for me even before Schengen. Since then I am trying to avoid Frankfurt everytime if I can, except last year over Xmas - and they didn't disappoint again -2 hours at the custom and all flights delayed / cancelled.. I hope your skis arrive soon, that's the main thing!
thumbsup.gif

heh, I've gone through FRA 20+ times and never had anything but quick processing... maybe its the QF5 early arrival time (5am)...

pics look great heinz!
 
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Heinz

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Stani said:
Heinz, cause on wednesday the weather will be fine, you should visit the nearby Dachstein glacier for some powder turns. and the view from there is really amazing, especially on clear days!!

That is definately the plan. Actually was the plan today - hoping for it to fine up - but not to be - see below. Did have a day there around 20 years ago.
 
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Heinz

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Wahsinn!. Day didn't start out as planned but turned out to be a great one. Almost a return to winter conditions. Initial plan was to catch bus to Dachstein glacier where they would have got a bit of fresh snow. Ticket office said the Seilbahn was running, but got one stop on the bus when the bus driver got message from his colleague that it had closed due to wind.

Quick change of plan, walked to Planai west lift, skied back to main Planai base and left my pack there. Few runs on Planai again was only about 3 cms of new snow up top and about 1cm at midstation, nothing to get excited about but it did freshen up the runs so they were skiing really well. I was a bit under dressed for the top of the mountain – 0C, snowing lightly, foggy and a bit of a breeze. Very few people about, headed over to Hauser Kaibling again where there were even fewer.

Did a top to bottom run there top 0C and snowing, then around halfway down the sun appeared and I saw of temp of 5C, then further below it was bathed in sunshine and at the bottom it was 12C. Where I started was around 1900m and the base is around 750m, so around about a 12C drop in 1200m. The cloud level did vary a bit through the day. I was perfectly dressed for lower part. Run was in very good shape, snow reasonably consistent, certainly a bit heavier lower down but fine. Had a blast then doing several non stop top to bottom runs of GS turns with virtually no one else in sight, getting a bit of thigh burn. Was almost a pity to stop for lunch, but was still worthwhile Tiroler knödel mit sauerkraut. With the relative cooler temps the snow held up much better and was actually much more comfortable for skiing. So it was worth skiing through till stumps. Didn't spot anyone sunbathing today.

Then back for another welcome home Schnaps from the pension owner – nice.
 
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GS

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Heinz said:
. Had a blast then doing several non stop top to bottom runs of GS turns with virtually no one else in sight, getting a bit of thigh burn. Was almost a pity to stop for lunch, but was still worthwhile – Tiroler knödel mit sauerkraut.

drif.gif


Love it, especially the lunch
thumbsup.gif
 
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Susi

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Ahh, a welcome home Schnaps, they're always good. Sounds great. We've booked a measly 6 nights for Falls Creek in August....byo schnaps, I'm afraid, will be almost as good as where you are, or where you're going....not!!! Love the photos, keep them coming!!!! sis
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Heinz

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Been a bit busy the last few days. Very windy today so chances are gondola may close again, so day off and a chance to catch up. Will probably have one more day skiing here tomorrow before returning to Graz.
 

Heinz

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Apr06 - Reiteralm

Cloudy day and gusty winds around the peaks so unfortunately the Dachstein glacier was still off the agenda. Headed instead by bus to Reiteralm – no longer possible to ski across due to the lack of snow lower down. Coverage on the new Preunegg gondola run though was excellent and still a long run so had several runs there. There were a few more people about – but for some reason most congregated around one side leaving the Preunegg side almost empty.

I remember Schladming being known for its ‘Autobahn’ runs when I was here over 20 years ago. Now though they are even wider. If you like long runs cranking out Super G turns then this is the place. Just probably lacking a bit of variety. The legs weren’t up to non stop top to bottom today –heavier bottom section just took too much out and I was feeling a bit lazier today.

The lift infrastructure here and in the region is impressive - 8 seater gondolas and chairs now very common. Also impressive are the number and quality of the ‘huts’ - just about everywhere , so often hard to choose, though a few were closed today.

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Heinz

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Apr07 – Dachstein crossing

The Dachstein crossing which is also known as the Austrian national ski tour involves catching the cable car to the Dachstein glacier from the southern side and traversing across and skiing down to Obertraun or alternatively Halstatt on the northern side. This was something I was hoping to do 20 years ago but it never worked out usually down to the weather. Was hoping to try again but it wasn’t looking promising this time either. After days of strong winds etc the ski school I was trying to organise it with said they weren’t going to run it all again this season due to lack of snow. After talking to someone else decided to head up anyway and find out myself.

Met a guy from Burgenland (east of Austria) at the Schladming bus stop who had done ir several times and was doing it again who pointed out a few things. Bus to the base was about 50mins. A few locals heading up the cable car we doing it also. Needed to make sure to inform the cable car operator so that he could arrange the bus to pick us up at the other end. Then a few minutes checking out the views from the Sky walk platform before starting out. At the topmit was -2C and quite windy so fairly fresh.

Approaching the top Seilbahn station.
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From the Skywalk platform
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Heinz

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The other guy was doing a few runs on the lifts first. I headed out behind a German couple but they were walking up the first bit while I had the skins so went past them even though it was probably only a short ½ hr skin. The trail was well marked and the first bit on the glacier was even groomed so was pretty cruisy. The new snow that had fallen in recent days had been warmed up so wasn’t really worth getting into. Trail starting winding downhill – passed a couple snow shoeing presumably to Simony hut. As soon as I got out of the wind it felt quite warm, so shedded a couple of layers.

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Simony hut
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Someone heading up from the other side.
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Heinz

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Then starting getting to the vegetation level and this is where it got ‘interesting’ ie became a bit of a slog. Normally so I was told it is mostly a fairly cruisy ski so ski schools are happy to take people on regular alpine gear. But now it was a matter of finding a path in the snow in between the rocks, dirt & shrubs which meant plenty of up and down and side stepping. I caught up with a group of 5 Bavarians and a couple of them were struggling a bit. Joined them for while but then went ahead when they had a break. Some other guy went ahead and I figured then it was going to be easier putting the skins on again – herringboning was just too much work . One of the Bavarians went ahead while I was switching over –he seemed happy doing it without skins.

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Looking towards Krippenstein
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I think it was around here that I thought it would be worthwhile putting the skins back on.
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Heinz

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Eventually we got closer to the ski area of Obertraun-Krippenstein and the gondola stations. The resort had been closed for sometime so everything was closed. Not long after we reached the trails of theski resort itself so it was again very cruisy apart from negotiating some bare patches and walking a few short sections – better than I expected it to be. The Bavarian stopped to wait for the rest of his group, so I went ahead again. Saw a few people skinning up the other way.

Got down to the cable car station in Obertraun just before 2pm, about 4.5 hours after starting and feeling very sweaty – was probably around 20C in the valley. Was looking forward to a beer but unfortunately everything was closed and the place was deserted apart from a couple of maintenance guys and a couple of tourists wondering where I had come from. So it was a long wait for the bus which was scheduled for 3:15. Most of the others only came down around 3pm. Maybe they just paced it better?

Then a pleasant ride back through Bad Aussee where we stopped at a shop to grab some beer, Bad Mitterndorf and Schadming for me and the Dachstein south cable car base for the others.

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Was hard to imagine how we came down from there. The trail was mostly out hidden to the right of the pic.
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Heinz

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Apr08 - Obertauern

Planned a trip to the ski area of Obertauern in Salzburg province not to be confused with Obertraun in Upper Austria where I was the day before. So 3 different provinces in 3 days (Schladming being in Steiermark/Styria). Catch the train to Radstadt, unfortunately due apparently on some maintenance being done somewhere along the line it was running 10mins late which meant I missed the connecting bus in Radstadt, so was an hour later. Was a warmish windy day in Schladming and heard later that the Planai gondola closed due to the wind. In Obertauern it was very overcast at windy at times. The cable car there was closed but wasn't sure if that was due to the wind of lack of snow. Obertauren though is quite a large area with about 20 chairlifts most of them quads. These cover a fairly large area on both sides of the valley and link up so you can do a sort of a circuit. Obertauern itself isn't really a town but more a collection of big hotels spread along the valley road.

I spent about the first three hours there catching a different lift and skiing a different run every time before eventually ending up where I started. Runs not quite the autobahns of the Ennstal resorts around Schladming but certainly more variety. With the current general lack of snow most of the more interesting terrain and off-piste wasn't really skiable and much was closed. Still some pretty good skiing even if it wasn't a great day for pics. An area that would certainly be worth visiting in good snow cover. After the legs had enough I got the bus back to Radstadt and another back to Schladming.


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Heinz

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Went for a bit of a walk just on the edge of town. Was a very pleasant day once you were out of the wind. Quite a contrast between the mountain and the valley. One of the attractions of being here in spring.

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Then back for a light lunch here.
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damian

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Who needs snow when you are surrounded by that. The Alps are stunning. I'd trade more than half of the snow we have in Japan in April (meters of it) just for some mountain culture and atmosphere like that. Japan (in my case, Hakuba) is the antithesis of those last photos.
 
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